Narcissus: cultivation and care of bulbs

Narcissus: cultivation and care of bulbs

Il narciso is certainly one of the most loved flowers, so much so that it is grown all over the world and frequently chosen for the creation of wonderful bouquets with spring notes. This plant is in fact one of the first to appear as soon as winter is over and, due to its flowering often concentrated in March and April, it is also one of the symbols of Easter.

Not everyone knows, however, how a few tricks are enough to make this splendid vegetable bloom even during the coldest months. But what are the characteristics of the narcissus, how it is grown e how bulbs are cared for?

As usual, before starting it is good to ask your trusted supplier of botanical products for an opinion, to verify the compatibility of narcissus cultivation with the typical climate of your place of residence.

Too cold temperatures could in fact cause death, as well as an excessive mercury level. Here is some useful information.

What is the narcissus

With the botanical term Narcissus – commonly called narcissus – it identifies a genus of plants belonging to the family of Amaryllidaceae. This vegetable probably originated in the Mediterranean basin, and then spread rapidly throughout Europe and much of Asia. Today it is cultivated all over the world for ornamental purposes.

The narcissus plant is one bulbous and is characterized by several stems of medium height, slender and with an intense green color. From these come to life the ribbon-like leaves that accompany the stem itself, protecting it.

On the ends of the stems appear yellowish flowers, of different intensity depending on the species. The peculiarity of these specimens is given by the presence of very soft and delicate petals, called lacinie, ready to gather a central bell-shaped crown, with serrated ends and a darker shade of yellow.

There are so many available today variety of narcissus, mostly the result of hybridizations and experiments. This is because, originally, the flower appeared in nature a pale yellow, more whitish. Centuries of selections, crossings and experiments have made it possible to obtain daffodils with sunny colors, even very bright ones.

The name of this plant seems to derive from the Greek “narkoo”-“ I stun ”- because of its intense and pleasant scent. According to some, the definition would instead be of Persian origin, where we speak precisely of these flowers defining them “nargis“.

However, the Hellenic definition seems to be the most likely, also because this flower is also associated with a figure of the Greek mythology. We are talking about the beautiful Narcissus, condemned to fall in love with the image of him reflected in a body of water, thus finding his death.

When daffodils bloom

Field daffodils

The narcissus is a typical flower ofearly spring, when temperatures are no longer as cold as in the middle of winter, but not excessively hot either. There flowering it can begin as early as March, and then continue throughout April and May: not surprisingly, this flower has been associated with Easter and the Passion of Christ since ancient times.

This is not so much for its symbolism, but for its abundance in the meadows just behind the Easter period.

By recreating weather conditions however, it is possible to make the daffodils bloom even in winter. On the other hand, it is more complex to achieve such a goal in summer, because the excessively sultry days and the scorching solar spraying can damage both the petals and the stems themselves.

How to grow narcissus


With the basic characteristics of daffodils listed, it’s time to think about their cultivation. As with any other ornamental plant, also for the narcissus it is necessary to ensure certain needs for the plant. Here are some tips.

Necessity of the plant

Yellow narcissus

In order to thrive and ensure long flowering, daffodils need some specific conditions:

  • Climate: Daffodils love a spring climate, which is neither excessively hot nor extremely cold. They start sprouting from the first days of March – some varieties even as early as the end of January – and are able to resist even the sudden changes in temperature that occur in this season;
  • Ground: this flower loves soft, airy and strongly draining soils, as stagnant water could damage the bulbs. A medium fertilization, not excessively frequent, with organic fertilizer such as compost is also recommended;
  • Solar exposure: the narcissus does not disdain the spring sunlight, but we must always remember the presence of very delicate petals. A semi-shaded position is therefore recommended, so that the sun’s rays do not burn the most sensitive portions of the plant;
  • Watering: the water requirement of the narcissus is of medium intensity. During the spring season, if grown outdoors, normal period rainfall can also be sufficient. If grown indoors, however, it will be necessary to proceed approximately every other day, always checking that the soil does not appear too dry.

Cultivation in pots or in the garden

The narcissus can be grown quite easily both in vaso that in garden. In the first case, great care must be taken to prepare a bed of gravel, shards or balls of expanded clay at the bottom of the container, to increase water drainage. Outdoors, it is recommended to hoe the area to be cultivated to ensure a more homogeneous distribution of nutrients.

I bulbs they can be inserted into the ground already in the winter season, from September to January, depending on the variety at your disposal. They are buried about three or four centimeters deep, separating each specimen by about twenty centimeters.

Much also depends on the size of the bulb itself: in fact, popular tradition suggests creating holes in the soil that are twice as deep as the length of the bulb. There multiplication of the plant it happens instead for division of the heada possibility that allows to preserve the genetic characteristics of the plant of origin.

How to make narcissus bloom in winter

Daffodils, group

Perhaps not everyone is aware that it is possible make daffodils bloom even in winter, although it is not too long a flowering. Of course, to achieve this result it is necessary that the narcissus be grown indoors, in a cool, dry place away from the elements.

To do this, you fill in a glass vase of pebbles and gravel, when you reach the middle of the container, the bulb is placed and covered with other stones, leaving the tip free. Then water is added and, after a few days, the first roots and the first shoots will emerge from the bulb.

The ideal temperatures are those between 12 and 18 degrees, as long as the pot is placed in environments that are not too humid and can take advantage of sufficient sunlight every day.

Plant care and bulb management

White narcissus

But how do you manage the narcissus plant in both its active flowering and winter bulb phases? We start with the fertilizationalways with organic solutions such as compost, to be carried out once a month for the entire vegetative period of the plant.

We then continue with the pest control: the aerial parts can be attacked by aphids, while the bulb is often affected by mold due to excess watering. For both cases, a useful method of fighting insects is the use of neem oil.

If you decide to leave the bulbs in the ground during theWinterIt will be useful to cover the cultivated area with a layer of mulch. Alternatively, they can be uprooted from the ground, left to dry and then placed in a container of sand and soil, to be kept in a cool and dark place until the following spring.

Source: GreenStyle by

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